Hiking alone can be exciting as well as a dangerous experience. However, solo hiking lets you think freely and can be a life-changing experience. You are all by yourself, but you should note that the idea of being alone can be terrifying, especially for women. There can be various barriers, which may prevent you from taking this courageous step. If you are willing to go for a multi-day trek, you can also choose a short-day trek. It will allow you to come out of your comfort zone so that you can hit a trail by yourself. Here, we have put together a handy guide to the solo hiking tips for female hikers. These tips will help you prepare for the trip and get the most out of it.
Is it safe to hike alone?
Before we talk about the safety tips, let us understand if hiking alone is safe. Many people would have this question in their mind, is it safe to hike alone. While there are many who argue that it’s not safe to hike alone. We cannot deny the risks associated with hiking alone, but the benefits outweigh the risks. One should avoid going hiking solo without adequate experience and knowledge. Many national parks have strict guidelines and recommend not walking alone. Therefore, one must check the guidelines and learn more about solo hiking before planning the trip. You may even go on a short trip to prepare yourself. Moreover, it is a personal choice and we will recommend you to go solo hiking only if you are comfortable with this idea. Let us understand some of the benefits of solo hiking to understand why you should opt for this.
Benefits of Hiking Alone
Here’s a quick run-down of the benefits of hiking alone:
- You can hike whenever you want and won’t have to wait for anyone else.
- It will empower you and boost your confidence levels.
- You can explore different sites and locations by yourself.
- It can be an excellent opportunity to interact and make new friends.
- You can hike at your own pace.
- It will make you stronger, both physically and mentally.
- It can be a surreal experience and you can be all by yourself.
- You will become more courageous and less fearful.
- You will also find a sense of peace and serenity.
- It will help you discover your inner self and be more comfortable in different situations.
Planning for Solo Hiking: How to Prepare Yourself for Hiking Alone?
Solo hiking can be an intimidating experience, but planning your solo hiking trip will make it much more convenient. Here are some tips on how you can plan your solo trip and embrace the road taken.
Pick an easier or popular trail location
If you have never hiked alone before, we would recommend you choose a familiar or an easy location. You may choose a location that is surrounded by most people so that it doesn’t get scary for you. Research well and plan the entire route beforehand to ensure that it is the right trail for you.
Check the weather
Hiking in the wrong season and weather can ruin your entire experience. Therefore, you must always check the weather before heading out. The seasonal change can impact the route and may pose restrictions. You may also have to pack different gear according to the season and the weather. Therefore, it is advised to check the weather conditions and detailed reports before planning the trip.
Know what it will entail
You should never plan a trip without checking the basic information. It will be good if you are aware of the nearby locations, distance, and average terrain. Check if there are any permits required to hike in that particular location. Research about the parking, logistics, and availability of the food on that trail. Researching things in advance will help you prepare your mind for hiking adventures.
Assess the environmental dangers
While selecting the location, research the possible environmental dangers in that area. Being aware of the dangers will help you take the necessary steps and safety precautions required for the trip.
Solo Hiking Tips for Females
Safety is the biggest concern for solo hikers, especially for women, Be cautious and stay prepared for the emergencies that you may face ahead. Here are some solo hiking tips for females that you must keep in mind:
Pack these essentials
You must pack the necessary gear and essentials. There can be different risk factors and it is suggested to pack some essentials. You may not find some of the items in the nearby location. Here, we have recommended ten essential items that you must carry along with you:
- Emergency blanket
- Map and navigation
- Clothing (according to the weather and conditions)
- First aid
- Headlamp or Torch
- Sun protection
- Knife or multi-tool kit
- Fire starters
The list of gears may vary depending on the location and the weather. Therefore, you must research the location to understand the gears that may be required for the hiking trip.
What items you pack and carry along with are going to impact your experience while hiking. It can be difficult for solo hikers to determine what to keep and what to avoid. But, it is necessary to understand that you will have to carry everything on your back. This can lead to unnecessary heavy packs and may impact your experience while hiking. We would suggest you pack only the essentials and reduce as much weight as possible. Pack light and make things easier for yourself.
Tell someone where you are going
Safety is a big concern and you should consider informing your friends or family members about the entire trail. Tell them about how long you will be going and what route you will be taking to reach the destination.
Carry a PLB or satellite phone
A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a satellite messenger can be used to send an SOS signal to the rescue agencies. It can be an excellent addition to your gear list, especially if you are hiking to a location with no phone signal. Moreover, it will allow you to contact someone if you get lost mid-way.
Be aware of the surroundings
Be cautious and take every step with concern. Do not walk with earphones on and carefully listen to the voices nearby. Pay attention to nearby surroundings and be aware of the trail conditions such as rocky ground.
Don’t push yourself beyond your limits
While solo hiking can be a life-changing experience, you should avoid going beyond your limits. Don’t push yourself too hard. Learn about your capabilities and be comfortable with what you are doing. There is nothing wrong with reducing the trip or taking the shortcut if you feel like it.
Have fun and be kind
The most important part of solo hiking is to be free and enjoy it. Don’t be scared and take it as therapy. Enjoy your own company and take pictures doing different activities around. If you love writing try to journal and note down your experiences.
Be friendly and try to make new friends
There may be many more females or individuals around you, who might be on their first solo hiking trip. Try to communicate with others and make new friends. You can also try to talk to local people and learn about the location.
Leave no traces principles
Follow the concept of leave no trace principles except your footprints. Here are the things that you must follow to make your trip more convenient and enjoyable:
- Research, plan and prepare in advance
- Camp on durable surfaces.
- Respect wildfire.
- Be considerate of the surroundings and other visitors.
- Dispose of the waste properly.
- Do not harm the environment.
- Minimize the campfire impact.
Learn how to use a compass and read a map
This is one of the most effective skills that you must learn while going on solo hiking. Try to learn how you can use a compass to locate the destination or how to read the map. Always carry the map and try to learn a few lingos of the local dialect. It will make it easier for you to communicate with others around you.
Download hiking safety apps
There are a number of personal safety apps that you can consider downloading for your safety. Try downloading offline hiking maps to check the location and safety apps to calculate the estimated amount of arrival.
Wear the right attire and stay hydrated
Last, but not least, the most important thing is to wear the right attire and stay hydrated when solo hiking. Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes. The layers and exact clothing will depend on the trail you choose. Therefore, you must consider the location, weather, and surroundings to determine the right clothing type. Take small sips every twenty to thirty minutes to stay hydrated.
Solo Hiking Tips for Female Hikers – Follow These Tips
Try to stick with the daylight hours and follow the above tips for the safest solo hiking experience. Avoid changing the route in between. You must check the location and its surroundings beforehand to understand the conditions in the area. Follow your instinct, and intuition to take the right path. If you are not sure about the route, we would suggest you go back. There is no compulsion in completing the hiking trip if you are feeling uncomfortable. You may check the safety apps or look for other hiking groups around. Your safety should be your number one priority and these solo hiking tips for female hikers will make your trip more convenient. For more such tips and tricks, keep following us.